Today we meet three people, each of them deeply troubled. In the 1st reading, the prophet Elijah, in the 2nd reading St Paul, in the Gospel Peter. It’s to their credit they are troubled. They are troubled because they care. They hunger and thirst for righteousness. They’re troubled because they are passionate about the Lord and, markedly in the cases of Elijah and Paul, about his people.
The summer issue of the Light of the North is now available online.
There is lots for everyone in this issue, not least Bishop Hugh Gilbert’s letter in which Bishop Hugh considers how, as humans, we are so adaptable to changed circumstances and how versatile a faith we have. Then there’s Deacon John Wire’s Lockdown Diary and, for our Polish readers, Lidia Konar marks the 15th anniversary this year of the death of St John Paul ll. We also have plenty of pictures from the ordination to the diaconate of Malachy Eze and Christopher Doig and, in our series about the churches of the Diocese, we look at the Church of Saint Margaret, Huntly.
God is real: “I am”, he says. God is involved. God is on our side. These are the basic propositions of our faith. Sunday after Sunday they’re brought before us. Brought before us at Mass, in the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. And Sunday after Sunday the poor preacher scratches his head and prays to the Holy Spirit that he may not entirely mask and muffle these life-giving truths. God is real. God is involved. God is for us.
Today’s homily is supposed to be “brief and to the point”.
So, who are these like stars appearing? “Chosen men”, the Litany of the Saints will call them.
Here, briefly, is Malachy Eze, born in Igboland, who, after working as an interior decorator in Lagos and earning the wonderful nickname of “Parousia” from the youngsters he catechised, came to the UK, did some business studies, became a seminarian for the diocese of Aberdeen and appears before us today.
The Bishops’ Conference of Scotland Pastoral Ministry Working Group has published this Infographic summary of guidance for parishioners as they return to church for the public celebration of Mass.
The diaconate Ordination of Malachy Eze & Christopher Doig will be celebrated by Bishop Hugh Gilbert OSB in St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday 16th July at 11:00, following the coronavirus lock-down restrictions.
Today’s readings are full of the “earth”.
So Isaiah: “As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth…”
Scotland’s Catholic Bishops have welcomed the First Minister’s comments today (Thursday 9 July) on places of worship and have announced the resumption of communal worship in Catholic parishes from 15 July. Commenting on the move, the President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, Bishop Hugh Gilbert said;
I once actually saw a fisherman by the lake of Galilee casting a net into the sea. A biblical moment. In due time, he would have drawn that net back ashore. This is the kind of thing Peter did in his young days.
One of the saints of this diocese is John Ogilvie, born in Keith in 1580 and martyred in Glasgow in 1615. He lived at a time of ferocious controversy between Catholics and Protestants. It came to war in some places; it came to arguments everywhere. They were often very learned arguments, with quotations from Scripture and early Christian writers, arguments about where real Christianity and the real Church were to be found. It was like a boxing match, where nobody quite managed to land the knockout blow. Young John Ogilvie had been brought up a Protestant, but he went to continental, Catholic Europe for his education. And he became engaged in these controversies. He began to feel the force of the Catholic position, but then on the other hand…